You might have heard that grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs. What about prunes, the smaller cousin of raisin? Will Fido get sick if he accidentally got into a bag of prunes? Find out by reading this post.
Are Prunes Dog-Friendly?
Yes, they are. Prunes are basically just fresh plums that have been dried. The flesh of the plums is considered safe for dogs. Unlike grapes and raisins, plums are not poisonous to dogs.
While prunes are okay for dogs, we still strongly advise to give them to your pet in small amounts because they are loaded with fiber that can cause gastrointestinal upsets in dogs.
They may also contain high amounts of sugar that can be bad for your pet. Too much sugar can cause cavities, metabolic problems, as well as diabetes in canines. One pitted prune contains 3.9 grams of sugar.
In large amounts, prunes can make your dog sick. He might vomit and suffer from diarrhea after consuming too many dried plums. If you’re planning to share some with your pet, limit the quantity you give him to one to two pieces. These amounts wouldn’t hurt.
Or, instead of offering prunes, just give your pet the fresh counterpart – the plums – but make sure to remove the pit because it may contain traces of cyanide that could poison your pet.
What about prune juice? Is it safe to give it to dogs? The answer is no, because it could upset his stomach. It is a well-known remedy for constipation in humans but not in dogs. Constipation is not really a common issue with dogsin the first place. They tend to suffer from diarrhea more than constipation, so there’s no reason to give them prune juice.
Apart from the pit, the stems and the leaves of plums also contain cyanide. The symptoms of cyanide poisoning in dogs include diarrhea, unrestrained salivation, and unexplained aggression. Your dog could also end up lethargic and might even suffer from seizures.
If you suspect your pet just swallowed a plum pit, call a vet ASAP. Like any other stone fruits, plums contain pits that can cause intestinal obstruction in dogs.
Benefits of Plums and Prunes to Dogs
In moderate amounts, prunes and their fresh version, the plums, can be beneficial to canines. Here are the potential benefits of giving dried plums to your pet:
- They are good for Fido’s nerves, muscles, and enzymes. A piece of pitted prune has as much as 69.5 milligrams of potassium. This macromineral prevents nervous disorders in dogs and also keeps their muscles strong.
- They promote healthy digestion. A gram of prunes contains around 7% of fiber. They actually contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which can help your pet have a healthier colon. Dietary fiber also prevents diarrhea and constipation in dogs.
- They can prevent anemia because of their iron content. In dogs, insufficient iron can lead to anemia or having low levels of red blood cells. Prunes, as well as plums, are among the iron-rich fruits.
- They keep Fido’s coat looking healthy. Prunes are packed with Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that is necessary for the optimal health of your pet. Vitamin A is best known as the “eye vitamin,” but it can also do more for the body. It is important for healthy muscles, nerves, and coat.
- They protect your pet from cancer and other diseases. Studies suggest that phytochemicals can prevent cancer as well as high cholesterol in canines. These naturally occurring substances can be found in prunes.
Risks of Giving Prunes to Dogs
Some prunes may still have the pit. The pruned plums, for instance, often contain the pits because they are dried without undergoing fermenting. This is due to their high sugar content. Avoid giving unpitted prunes. Aside from causing intestinal obstruction, pits also put your dog at risk for cyanide poisoning.
If your dog just swallowed unpitted prunes, take him to a vet hospital immediately especially if he is already showing signs of pain. There is a big possibility that the pit may pass through one end or another. Still, you have to make sure it really gets out of your dog’s system.
Meanwhile, if your dog shows signs of sickness after eating pitted prunes, you may try to induce vomiting. Do note, however, that it is only safe to perform if the ingestion took place one to two hours before.
Induced vomiting can be done by giving your dog a 3% Hydrogen Peroxide solution. If your pet did not throw up after the initial attempt, you may repeat the process but only once. It is too risky to perform emesis more than twice. It’s best to bring Fido to a vet if the induced vomiting failed.
A veterinarian may also prescribe Ipecac syrup, another over-the-counter medication used for inducing vomiting in dogs. The recommended dosage is 2.2 ml for every kilogram of body weight and should only be taken orally once.
The Bottom Line
Prunes are not toxic to dogs but they are not an ideal snack for dogs either. If you want to add some fruits to your pet’s diet, choose the fresh ones over the dried ones. Just like other dried fruits, prunes may contain unhealthy amounts of sugar.
Anotherconcern with prunes is their laxative effect since they are a great source of dietary fiber. Your pet could end up with diarrhea especially if he eats very large quantities of the fruit. If you want to give your pet fiber, just consider high-fiber dog foods. There are also other natural sources of fiber that are much safer and much healthier for canines.